Coming off a lopsided win in game No. 1 on Friday, the Walters State men's basketball team was looking to build off the momentum on Saturday night.
Playing a tough Caldwell Community College team, the Senators fell behind early and could never recover, falling 96-89.
"They're a very good basketball team, I don't want to take anything away from them," head coach Bill Carlyle said. "We just didn't execute well. We fouled too much."
Things did not start off well for Walters State as they fell behind 6-0 early. Sly Thompson finally got the Senators going with a three. Thompson was the bright spot for Walters State in the half as he totaled 10 points in the half, despite being in foul trouble.
While Walters State kept it close for much of the first half, they never lead. The Senators had the Caldwell lead down to 33-29 at one point in the half, thanks to two three-pointers from Jermize Weddle, but that woke up Caldwell who finished the half on fire and in the lead, 56-38.
It was a sloppy first half for both sides as 35 fouls were called total. Walters State had five players at the half with at least two fouls and Thompson and Anthony Jones each had three fouls. Caldwell had five players with two fouls at the half as well.
"Our game plan was to slow it down and then pull them out and get it down low," Carlyle said. "But with foul trouble, we had to change it up a little. We just have to pick it up and go again."
Walters State struggled to rebound in the game. Caldwell, with five guys six-feet-seven-inches or taller, outrebounded the Senators 48-34.
Caldwell built the lead to 21 to immediately start the half, but the Senators began to chip away at the deficit. Luiz Machado scored nine points to start the half,
Thompson added six and the Senators cut the lead to 66-57.
Caldwell built the lead back up to 15 points, but Thompson scored four quick points and it was 74-65.
The game seesawed back and forth for the remainder of the game with Walters cutting it to 91-87 with one minute left. However, costly turnovers proved the difference as Caldwell held on for the win.
Machado led the team with 30 points on 9-of-19 shooting. Thompson was close behind with 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting. January Halloway led the team with eight rebounds.
The Senators were hampered by their free throw shooting, going 27-of-48 from the line. Machado was just 7-of-16 from the charity stripe.
"If we're gonna beat people, we have to cut down on our mistakes," Carlyle said. "If you go 27-48, you're gonna lose every time. We just can't do that."
The Senators will be back in action on Tuesday as they take on Tennessee Wesleyan JV at Tennessee Wesleyan. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.